News and Events

SAFE COMMUNITY COALITION REVITALIZED, EXPANDED

Posted on: 7-February-2011

A safety program that has won international recognition for Brockville in recent years has two new men at the helm.

Brockville Police Inspector Scott Fraser and retired educator, community activist and public school board trustee David Dargie were introduced during a press conference Wednesday as co-chairmen of the Safe Community Coalition of Brockville and District.

"It's being re-energized," Dargie told the Recorder and Times during an interview after a press conference in the refurbished Communities Office of Brockville City Hall.

Dargie said such organizations typically go through ebbs and flows, but he feels the coalition is about to regain the high profile it had under the guidance of former Police Chief Barry King and Community and Primary Health Care executive director Ruth Kitson.

Dargie said the 80 community groups that partner in the program will be surveyed to determine priorities and plan for the future.

Along the way, a re-designation ceremony will take place next month during the Canada 55-Plus Games that will guarantee a wide audience, said Dargie, who is also co-chairman of that event.

The commemoration at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26 will include recognition to former chief King, who will be in attendance, said Dargie.

Current Police Chief Adrian Geraghty said Dargie and Fraser are "two go-getters" who will help raise the profile of the coalition.

Meanwhile, the formal name of the organization has been slightly changed to reflect existing and anticipated new partnerships outside of Brockville, noted Fraser.

"We will reach out to more groups in Leeds and Grenville," said Fraser.

He said the 10th anniversary is approaching in 2011 and meetings will be held with United Counties officials to spread the word beyond Brockville.

Brockville Mayor David Henderson has already indicated his support in a separate meeting, said Fraser.

"The goal is to make the community free of preventable accidents," Fraser said.

"If we can save the life of one child or one worker, it's worth it."

Dargie said the coalition provides tangible benefits that can be measured in terms of fewer industrial accidents and Worker's Compensation rebates paid in the past to local industry.

In addition, there are some not-so-visible benefits that include anecdotal evidence of residents moving to Brockville because of the reputation built as a member of the national and North American Safe Communities Coalition.

Dargie said efforts will be made to validate such stories to better quantify the benefits of the program.

He pointed out Brockville was recognized in 2001 as the first city in Ontario, second in Canada and fourth in North America to join the Safe Communities Coalition.

More recently, Brockville earned near-perfect scores during a 2008 study of local programs by Safe Communities Canada.

Recognition was paid during the press conference to a $2,000 contribution priovided by the Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation for computers and renovations to the downtown office it shares with Safe Communities.

Executive director Tom Russell said he expects more funding to be provided to the organization in the future.

"This is an organization we all appreciate. We are stronger by working together," said Russell.

He said the CDC operates a financial enterprise centre in the office alongside the Safe Community Coalition and space for Brockville Police.

Source

Updated October 23, 2013